Thursday, June 25, 2009

KORACH: THE COMING OF THE THAW

by Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman

Korach was a man ahead of his time. Rather than labeling him as the wrong man at the right time, let us say he was the right man at the wrong time. NOW is his time.

Korach asked Moses who put him over all the people to rule over them? For his insolance against a righteous humble man such as Moses, who was the epitome of the reluctant leader, he suffered a very strange punishment. But rather than seeing it merely as a punishment, we can view his fate as similar to a living time capsule - a time capsule of brazen effrontery and fearless confrontation.

Time capsules are meant to be dug up and retrieved in the future. Moreover, the Torah teaches that Korach went down ALIVE (hayyim) into the pit (NUM 16:33). At the time of Mashiach he would once again be retrieved. His rebellion against Moses was just his rehearsal. Now is his time. The cameras are rolling as the capsule is opened. The genie of freedom is released.

The fearless students and young people in Iran are confronting the mullah machine. The spirit of freedom lives in them. They are shedding their blood, secular martyrs against the repressive totalitarian clerical regime. As if channeling the spirit of Korach they proclaim to the mullahs: who made you lord over us? Who appointed you to rule over us? If our votes don't count then your very legitimacy does not count!

Stabbed, hacked, choked and shot. Rivers of blood. Is the world listening? Does the world care?

They are tossed over bridges. They themselves are the bridges! They are the Gesher -the bridge. They are the Regesh - the feeling and emotion. They are the Shraga - the flame of hope.

Korach is kerach - ice. But the world is heating up now. The ice is melting. The thaw is setting in.

Korach is returning. Rising from his pit. Rising with a vengeance, for now his time at last has come. His holy hutzpah standing up for justice. Standing up for freedom, the inherent right of all people.

It is not climate change we should worry about. Better our hearts should grow warmer. Better we should feel their pain. The world's morality is frozen. They stand by and watch the slaughter.
And say nothing. And do nothing. Nothing at all. Never again all over again. And again. They shed their blood. Do we even shed a tear?

Persia set us free. Persia sent us home. Persia helped rebuild the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple today cannot be rebuilt until there is freedom and justice for all people. From the heart of the repressive beast the people rose up. For who knows the evil of the beast better than they?

Shabbat Shalom!
Good Shabbos!

© 2000 - 2009 by Rabbi Baruch Binyamin Hakohen Melman

These words of Torah are written in the merit of my beloved father, Israel J. Melman, obm, Yisrael Yehoshua ben Harav Ya'aqov Hakohen ben Meir Yisrael Hakohen Melman, z"l

I was raised in the musar tradition of silence and meditative thoughtfulness, as were my father and grandfather before me.
http://seferchabibi.blogspot.com/2007/07/yahrzeit-of-my-father-27-tammuz.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9506EEDC1630F93BA35754C0A9649C8B63

Chabibi stands for CHidushei Baruch Binyamin ben Yisrael Yehoshua(a chidush, from the word chadash, means a new, original or fresh perspective)
Dedications are available.

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About Me

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I played violin with Reb Shlomo and studied under him for over nine years at hundreds of concerts and learnings. Shlomo wanted to give me smicha before he passed. Deepest influences: My father,obm, who was a great scientist and human being, and my grandfather, obm, who was a great Torah scholar who was a musmach of the Mir Yeshiva and taught in Slobodka in Russia before WW1, and was also personal friends with the Chafetz Chaim and came to America in 1914. He knew the Talmud by heart! You could stick a pin in a word and he could tell you what word was on the other side! And my mother, Esther bat Baruch, z"l, who was a scholar of classical Hebrew and Tanach and who gave me a love for the language. And her mother, Anna (Sucher) Deutsch, who was born in Horodenka, spoke six languages, and shared her aged wisdom and eternal sweetness with me. I studied at Brandeis, Hebrew College, Pardes as well as seven years at The Metivta/ITJ earning my Advanced Semicha (yoreh yoreh)under Rav Halivni. What's truly amazing is that Shlomo and Rav Halivni each received semicha from Rav Hutner! But my deepest influences of them all are my sweetest sweetest girls who have taught me the most!